Temporal variation in abundance of larvae and spat of the pearl oyster Pinctada imbricata was studied from May 1997 to June 1998 by sampling with bongo nets and harvesting spat from collectors at monthly intervals. Abundances of predators (Cymatium Gastropoda and portunid, xanthid and majiid crabs) were also recorded. A relationship between salinity, particulate organic matter and larvae abundance was observed leading to peaks in abundance of spat on collectors some weeks later. Average catch rates of 10 spat month-1 collector-1, using collectors made of cheap easy accessible materials, indicate that availability of P. imbricata is sufficient to initiate and support aquaculture of this species. Growth and mortality rates of juveniles in three different culture systems at two densities (i.e. 20% and 30%) showed that density within the same culture system had no effect on growth, but that growth differed significantly among the three culture systems. Growth in bag systems was lower than in boxes whereas growth in suspended and bottom boxes was similar and comparable to the growth of a natural population. The suspended boxes were the easiest to handle because they do not require SCUBA diving and so these systems are recommended.